Emptying the Mind to Fill the Heart

Written by
Bruce Davis, Ph.D.
| Published
June 9, 2023
Meditation does not have to be difficult. We are changing the habit of constantly thinking. We are changing our pattern of carrying the details and challenges of daily life all the time within us. Meditation can teach us to let go of our busy mind and be in our heart.

We can stop the busy mind and come into our calm heart. Instead of always thinking, our awareness can be open, soft, and present. No matter what are the circumstances of our day, the details, frustrations, and desires do not need to constantly occupy and overflow the river of our awareness. We do not need to live in constant stress. Meditation can bring us to the beauty of the moment, simple, and free. There is an alternative to our minds constantly on the go.

Meditation brings us back to the river of our own being without all the mental traffic. Thinking and awareness are two separate things. We can see, hear, taste, touch and feel life directly without the filter of our constant thoughts. Imagine a life where you can simply be when you want to be and think when you want to think. Our thoughts, dreams, feelings become more clear, bringing more clarity to our relationships, work, and life in general.

Meditation does not have to be difficult. We are changing the habit of constantly thinking. We are changing our pattern of carrying the details and challenges of daily life all the time within us. Meditation can teach us to let go of our busy mind and be in our heart. It is all a matter of practice, practicing a meditation of the heart. There are two steps in what we call "heart contemplation."

The first step is offering. Begin the meditation by offering everything that is in our heart. This is with our out breath. Whatever we are busy thinking about during our day is what we are carrying in our heart. Maybe we are preoccupied with work, health, or a relationship. Whatever we are constantly thinking about is what is keeping our heart occupied and our mind busy. Our busy mind is the overflow from a crowded heart. As we offer, we begin to empty our mind and open our heart. The busy mind gradually becomes still. Our awareness is returning to our heart, soft, free, and naturally calm.

We stop the busy mind by offering what's in our hearts. We offer our worries and desires, our judgments, our likes and dislikes. Everything we find in our heart, we offer as if we are taking an apple out of our pocket and passing it along. We do not have to carry so much inside of us. We are offering what is in our heart to the universe, God, whatever we want to call the greatest love. And what do we do if there is something major holding down our heart like the loss of a loved one or a difficult illness? Instead of the pain just sitting inside of us, this meditation helps us find the part of our heart that is always greater. In our offering we are opening the door for something else, another part of us to be also present. The point is not to keep everything locked inside of us. With caring, gentleness, we offer everything in our heart. When we offer, we cannot be thinking at the same time. Our habit of constantly thinking is slowing down, slowly changing.

The second step is to go deeply within our heart and receive. Underneath our busy mind is the beauty, the landscape of our heart. Here is a great space, a valley of lightness, a reservoir of calm, an ocean of peace. We bring our awareness to the depths of our heart. We practice receiving. This is with our in breath. Our mental chatter recedes as we explore and receive the many qualities within our heart. We cannot be thinking and receiving at the same time. In our heart contemplation, there is so much to receive and enjoy.

Gentleness, equanimity, vastness, we find our awareness expanding inside. Our awareness expanding without end is a normal experience of people who receive the depths of their heart. Unencumbered by lots of thoughts, our awareness spreads into the limitlessness of our true being. Inner silence, goodness, forgiveness, and gratitude are frequently found. Every meditation we are exploring this inner treasure, our own heart. Our heart is our source of potentiality, trust, creativity, wholeness, our light and love.

There is no fixed rule how much of each meditation should be spent offering or receiving. Sometimes there is nothing to offer, we only want to be in the stillness of our heart and receive. Other times, there seemingly is a mountain of weight inside to offer. No matter how heavy or overwhelmed life may be, our intention of offering begins releasing the load we carry. Slowly, we find our own balance of offering and receiving. In my opinion, generally it's best to meditate at least a half-hour each day at a regular time. Whenever possible, we want to make silent retreats where we are not disturbed or distracted to develop further our meditation practice.

Why are we offering and receiving? In modern culture, we tend to hold onto everything. Our heart is stuffed full of grievances, desires, memories, old news, new news, too much news. We carry our problems, our friend's problems, the problems of the world. We are overfilled with mental activity. Our intellectual ability so often is at a cost of losing touch with our feelings and our heart. Our mental traffic covers the inner jewels of golden peace and harmony. Our complicated minds are a heavy veil hiding the true wealth inside of us. Meditation is removing this filter, uncovering our inner sanctuary, the temple of our heart. Our practice is stopping our busy mind and bringing us to an awareness of oneness, our center. Restfulness, compassion, and joy are the fruits of heart contemplation that grow and spread in our lives.

Written By
Bruce Davis, Ph.D.
Original Pub. Date:
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